There are two reasons why the nothing ear (2) represent an important point in the history of the brand: a year and a half has now passed since the launch of the first generation of TWS, and the first product of Carl Pei's new company had amazed everyone with its transparent design which then, after a few months, we found in the Nothing phone 1 which (it must be said) didn't invent anything but certainly knew how to get noticed for its design and value for money.
At the same time, however, after a few months of use, more and more people have begun to point out small problems relating above all to the ballerina Bluetooth connection of the ears (1) and I am convinced that, in the short term, the transparent design that characterizes Carl Pei's new products no one will start to care anymore.
In short, it is undeniable that the transparent look of Nothing products will continue to be a distinctive feature, but it will be an element we have already seen: with the ears (2) the time has come for the brand to show users that "beyond design there is moreover". Will they have succeeded?
Nothing ear review (2): besides the design (finally) there is more
Design and materials
Le nothing ear (2) continue to follow the design line undertaken with the first generation. Although the shape and size of the earphones continue to recall Apple's AirPods Pro, the transparent elements, the screen printing on the temple, the color choices and the presence of a colored dot that serves to distinguish the right earphone from the left continue to make them unique in the market, recognizable and absolutely not too showy.
It must also be said that, being very similar in shape to Apple's earphones, the sensation when wearing them is also similar: they are among the most comfortable TWS on the market and thanks to their compact size and lightness even after many hours of use they don't bother at all.
And the same goes for the charging case which is very similar to the previous generation and essentially continues to have all the strengths and weaknesses seen in the Nothing ear case (1). Now, from an aesthetic point of view, nothing to say: it is white, transparent, with attention to the smallest details, made with good quality materials and has a small screen printing on a white area. The magnetic system that "hooks" the earphones and allows them to be closed is also good, but its too square shape makes it perhaps a little awkward to carry, for example, in your pocket.
Furthermore, being transparent, it tends to scratch very, very easily and it is true that the plastics are qualitatively of a good level, but looking at them in detail, it is noted that other proposals in the same price range give more.
The earphones are IP54 certified, while the case is IP65 certified.
Sound quality and noise reduction
The biggest news of the nothing ear (2) they actually hide inside them. I start immediately with the pointing out that, despite the fact that we are testing the samples with a beta version of the support app and with a firmware that is not yet definitive, with the nothing ear (2) all those sudden disconnection problems that some users encountered with the first generation have been solved: I used them with practically any possible device, and indifferently whether they were connected to a Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra (here the review), an iPhone or a MacBook Pro, stability has always been at its best.
It then profoundly changes the sound structure in the earphones. Each earphone is equipped with a custom 11,6mm driver and the new dual-chamber internal design significantly improves the overall sound quality when compared to the previous generation. nothing ear (2) then they are also Hi-Res Audio certified and are compatible with LHDC 5.0 technology.
And they are all more than tangible improvements, which anyone who has used the first generation of Carl Pei's TWS will notice from the first listening: the detail and dynamics they are great, the sound has that something "natural" and they guarantee an excellent sense of depth.
The basses are well defined, balanced at the right point and not at all predominant and regardless of the musical genre you are listening to, the separation of the instruments is clear: the sound stage is much wider than that which characterized the previous generation and is fully promoted. votes, especially considering the price range in which these TWS are positioned.
It also improves noise cancellation which, with the latest firmware we received in preview, performs really well. While not comparable to the levels of silence you would get with AirPods Pro or Sony's top-of-the-line headphones, the ANC of the nothing ear (2) it has improved a lot compared to the previous generation and can also be activated in a new "customizable" mode.
It reaches up to 40 dB and can be used with two new features: customized active noise cancellation, adapted to the exact shape of the user's ear, and Adaptive Mode, which automatically adjusts the level of noise reduction based on the surrounding environment.
What still perplexes me is the Transparency mode, which continues to be a tad bit below the excellent effect obtained with the AirPods Pro: by activating it, the nothing ear (2) they continue to reproduce external noises with a somewhat "muffled" and metallic effect, still quite distant from the naturalness of Apple earphones, and when it's windy the positioning of the microphones tends to generate the usual rustles deriving from contact with the air . Sin.
The audio on call is excellent, and both interlocutors can hear each other without any problem even in noisy environments: the noise cancellation in call does an excellent job, eliminating most of the disturbing sound elements.
Features, apps and controls
I nothing ear (2) they are managed by the excellent Nothing X app which, over time, has become one of my favorites in the world of TWS earphones. In any case, in addition to the management of noise cancellation, through the application it is possible to modify the possible interactions through the stems, or set starting the voice assistant via three presses: Google Assistant or Alexa are available, and the response is practically immediate. do not miss thein ear detection, i.e. the system that automatically pauses the music when we remove an earphone from the ear.
Via the app it is also possible change the equalization (by selecting one of the available presets) and find the earphones, making them ring, but the function that amazed me the most for its real impact is that relating to the personalized audio profile: through a hearing test that will be carried out first on both ears , then individually to the right and left nothing ear (2) they are able to generate a customized equalization profile for their user, which can in turn be customized on three different levels. And, believe me, once the test has been carried out, the audio reproduced by these TWS will improve significantly.
Then the control methods change: if in the previous generation all the controls on reproduction and noise cancellation took place via swipes on the stems, with nothing ear (2) now they happen through pressure in a style very similar to that of the AirPods Pro and with the same comfort and responsiveness.
They integrate Bluetooth 5.2, supporting Google Fast Pair on Android devices and Microsoft Swift Pair on Windows devices, and finally support Dual Connection technology, which allows users to connect to two devices simultaneously and seamlessly switch between playing music and receiving calls: if you are listening to music on your pc and you receive a call on your phone, i nothing ear (2) automatically notify you of an incoming call.
Autonomy and recharge
Nothing to say about the battery life. In my tests I obtained better results than those of the AirPods Pro, almost 35 hours of music playback with the ANC deactivated and using the case recharge which, among other things, is fast and guarantees about 7 hours with 10 minutes and supports 2.5w wireless charging.
Selling price and conclusions
I nothing ear (2) are priced at 149 €, and are available (for now) only in white. And we have to admit it: unlike what happened with the previous generation, it is difficult to find tangible defects about these earphones and perhaps the only drawback I found is related to the transparency effect which still has a lot of room for improvement, but they have good audio quality, very spatial, they allow volume management with gestures and they are also very comfortable to use.
In short, it feels strange to say it, but i nothing ear (2) not only are they the best earphones ever produced by the company, but among the best true wireless earbuds currently on sale. In short, the brand has listened to the criticisms made by users with the first generation and has managed to solve (almost) all of them.
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